If you were to ask people what comes to mind when they hear the phrase “New Year”, many of them are likely to respond with the word “resolutions”. The freshness offered by a blank calendar gives us hope that this will be the year that we’ll be able to accomplish some goal like shedding some unwanted pounds or quitting a habit that has plagued us.

Even though I tend not to be a January resolution-maker, I have found myself reflecting lately on this concept’s root word: resolve. We refer to our New Year’s decisions and desires as ‘resolutions’ because we are pledging to be resolved to follow through on them to completion. I want to be a person who shows resolve in carrying out the good decisions in my life at all times and reflecting values that make a difference and build up the lives of others.

For me, the definition of resolve comes not from the pages of the dictionary, but from the lives of people I admire who demonstrate it. It is a friend who is not deterred by physical limitations, a sister who carries on with compassion and excellence even in times of deep difficulty, a colleague who shows firmness of purpose in every circumstance. Who are the people in your life that you could look to who embody the idea of resolve? How can you learn from them about what it means to remain determined in being a person of character and positive influence?

Growing as a person of resolve aids us in our ability to make a difference in the lives of others and to do our part in building a strong community. When we think of resolve and resolutions, it is good to consider not just eliminating bad habits (though obviously that is helpful) but also taking on good habits, thoughts and decisions, and being resolute about following through.